COVID-19: FAQs

How to stay informed

Trinity will update this website with information, resources and FAQs as the situation evolves. Students and parents should also continue to check email and text for updates should the situation change.

 I’m now off campus and cannot stop by someone’s office.  How do I find support?
Staff and faculty remain committed to supporting your learning. As shared in an email with all students from Vice President for Student Life, Becky Starkenburg, each student will have a student success coach to support you through this season. Student success coaches, as well as all student life and athletics staff are available via Microsoft Teams for drop in calls, chats. Microsoft Teams is also a great resource for you to host a group meeting to connection with your friends at Trinity. And, in addition to Moodle, many of your faculty will be using it for their office hours. We encourage you download Microsoft Teams and use this resource available to you as a Trinity student. 

Will academic accommodations be available to me during this time of online learning?
Yes!  Please access tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and the writing center through the normal Trollweb access. Those resources continue to be staffed and available to students. 

Where else can I find information about resources available to students?
We are updating Trollweb regularly, so please continue to access Trollweb as you have in the past for links to student resources.  We have a Student Guide to Online Learning and Social Distancing available as a quick resource.   COVID-19 updates will continue to be offered on Trinity’s COVID-19 webpage.

Will there be housing/meal plan refunds?
Trinity is working diligently to provide a pro-rated meal plan and housing refund and/or credit for those students who had housing or meal plans this semester. We are working as quickly as possible to assess each individual student’s financial aid situation, as well as follow guidance from the US Department of Education. We will communicate with students as soon as we have more definitive information.   

What about on campus work?
In-person, on-campus student employment has been suspended. We encourage student workers to reach out to their supervisors if they have particular questions.  

Can I come onto Trinity’s campus?
At this time, access to Trinity’s physical campus in Palos Heights is currently limited due to Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, announced March 20, 2020. Most buildings are locked and inaccessible to students.  Students, please contact Campus Safety and Security at the number found on your student ID card should you need to access campus for any reason.  

What about my campus mail?
The Mail and Print Center is open, though with limited operations.  Mail continues to be received on campus. If you would like your mail or packages to be forwarded to another address, please contact them via email at mailcenter@trnty.edu.  

What about rental books?
Rental books that would have been due on May 1 are now due on September 3, 2020.  Take the books home with you – you will need them to complete your classes!  Please contact the Bookstore with any further questions related to books (and check out the offerings – and deals – on the on-line store as well!).    

What if I have academic program related questions?
All faculty and department chairs will be in touch with students regularly starting Monday, March 23 (if not before!).  You may also email your professors directly. 

What about Trolls athletics?
The NAIA, NCCAA, and Trinity have suspended all athletic contests for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Please check the Trolls Athletics website, which will be updated as we receive information from the NAIA and NCCAA.    

What about May 2020 Commencement?
In light of the public health pandemic, as well as guidance from the State of Illinois and the CDC, Trinity has made the unfortunate and difficult decision to postpone the May 2, 2020, Commencement ceremony. However, we are committed, at some point, to providing an alternative for our graduating students to celebrate their achievements.  With the ever-changing nature of this situation, at this time we cannot announce when, where, or how such a commencement celebration will happen. We know that this is very important to our students, their families, and our entire community. We intend to honor our graduating students this spring throughout the season of online learning and we intend to hold an in-person ceremony for them in the future when it is safe to do so. More information will be forthcoming to students and Trinity’s website will be updated as more information is known and decisions regarding commencement are made. 

What about the 2020-21 Housing Process for Returning Students?
The 2020-2021 Housing Selection Process for Returning Students will be completely online.  Students can begin accessing the “housing intent” form via their student portal (under the “My Housing” section) starting Friday, March 27.

Submission Deadlines 
For students/groups requesting to live in the Tibstra 5-person apartments or Alumni Hall 6-person suites: Thursday, April 2 at 5pm*
For all other students/groups, the priority deadline for submission is Monday, April 20 at 12pm.
Those who submit housing preference forms for the Tibstra Apartments or Alumni Hall 6-person suites will receive placement confirmation by Monday, April 6. 

Specific Suite Placements 
After the priority deadlines have passed, Residence Life staff will assign groups to specific suites based on availability, preference, and community considerations.  There will not be a room draw this year; however, students are invited to include any specific assignment requests in their housing preference form for the Residence Life staff to review. Students will be notified of their housing placements by Monday, April 27. 

Updates on particular items and policy changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Official College Travel (Primarily for Faculty and Staff)

We have suspended all College-sponsored domestic and international air travel effective today and until further notice.  Anyone seeking exceptions to this policy must submit them, in writing, to the President’s Office (president@trnty.edu).  Waivers will be rare at best, and granted only for especially compelling circumstances.  Non-essential college travel by other means (e.g., passenger vehicle, bus, train) also is strongly discouraged.

Personal Travel

We urge all members of the Trinity community to carefully consider their intended destinations for personal trips and check on any restrictions or quarantine measures that may be recommended or required by the CDC upon arrival or return.  Obviously, we want our students to get home as expeditiously as is possible.  Personal international travel for U.S.-based persons is strongly discouraged.

[From President Kurt Dykstra]: Leah and I have taken this advice to heart.  We had planned trips over the next two months to, among other places, Michigan, Iowa, South Dakota, Central Indiana, Florida, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.  As of yesterday, we are going on none of them.

For faculty and staff, what if you must travel?  The CDC has recommended that places like Trinity keep a record of such travel (especially international) in the event that the future spread of the virus necessitates increased precautionary measures.  We would ask that you let our Human Resources office (human.resources@trnty.edu) know if you will be traveling (1) internationally, (2) domestically by flight or common carrier (e.g., train or bus, other than CTA, Metra, or other public transit services); or (3) outside of the Tri-State area (Chicagoland, Southeastern Wisconsin, and Northwest Indiana).  I recognize that item (3), in particular, is not described with exactitude.  I ask that you use common sense and prudence in registering such travel with Human Resources.  Please also know that the College will keep reported information confidential and solely for this purpose – and will dispose of that information as quickly as the public health conditions warrant.

Events at Trinity

Trinity has cancelled all events scheduled to occur on campus through the month of April.  That date could be extended, depending upon future conditions.  This cancellation includes Trinity events (e.g., theater performances and athletic contests) as well as outside organizations (e.g., the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and the Southwest Symphony Orchestra).  This cancellation also extends to official Trinity group gatherings or meetings that occur off campus (e.g., the 60th Anniversary Alumni gatherings and the Concert Choir tour).  Please adhere to the spirit of this policy as well as the letter of it:  do not evade this policy by moving something off campus that under normal circumstances would have occurred on campus.  Please contact your divisional vice president with questions or particular issues related to this policy change.

Visitation Policy

While most students have departed campus and will need to do so by Wednesday, March 18 at 5 p.m., we will have a small group of students who, for exceptional reasons, have been permitted to remain in Trinity housing.  In order to better protect the health and welfare of these remaining students, as of Wednesday, March 18, visitors will no longer be allowed in any Trinity Residence Hall, including any such facility used to house students who remain on campus.  Of course, our remaining students living in residence will be free to come and go as they please (exercising appropriate precautions), but no visitors will be permitted in the residence halls themselves.  We understand that this might be an inconvenience; the nature of this public health pandemic, however, compels us to implement such a policy for the foreseeable future.

Student Worker Policy

We have undertaken these extraordinary campus actions in order to best ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our students and the campus community.  That is also why we are insistent and adamant that as many students return home as possible.  For these reasons, and consistent with these actions, departments are not allowed to utilize student workers without approval from their divisional vice president.  To obtain such an approval, which will not be readily granted, please contact the appropriate vice president in writing and explain the exceptional circumstances that you believe warrant an exception.

Chicago Semester

Trinity’s Chicago Semester program has suspended its residential operations and is transitioning to online learning, similar in nature to what is taking place on Trinity’s Palos Heights campus.  The Chicago Semester staff is in full communication with the affected students to facilitate this transition.

Online Collaboration Resource for Faculty

The IT department has put together an online collaboration resource guide for faculty to use to help with technology.

What is the status of events on campus?
All events are cancelled through April 30. We have not yet made a decision to alter or cancel events on campus past April 30th. Right now our plan to stand in hope that this situation will be contained or eradicated in the coming weeks by the grace of God.

What is the status of SALT classes?
The flourishing of our campus community and its health and safety are of utmost importance to us at Trinity. With that priority in mind, we believe that it is in the best interest of our community and our neighbors to cancel all SALT [Seasoned Adults Learning at Trinity] offerings through April 30.

This decision follows Trinity’s steps to suspend in-person, on-campus classes for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester for all students.

We continue to monitor this evolving situation, and information about May courses will be released as soon as decisions are made. We do not yet have details about rescheduling courses or reimbursements for classes and membership fees, but we will be in touch as more information is available.

+ STUDENT & PARENT INFO

 I’m now off campus and cannot stop by someone’s office.  How do I find support?
Staff and faculty remain committed to supporting your learning. As shared in an email with all students from Vice President for Student Life, Becky Starkenburg, each student will have a student success coach to support you through this season. Student success coaches, as well as all student life and athletics staff are available via Microsoft Teams for drop in calls, chats. Microsoft Teams is also a great resource for you to host a group meeting to connection with your friends at Trinity. And, in addition to Moodle, many of your faculty will be using it for their office hours. We encourage you download Microsoft Teams and use this resource available to you as a Trinity student. 

Will academic accommodations be available to me during this time of online learning?
Yes!  Please access tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and the writing center through the normal Trollweb access. Those resources continue to be staffed and available to students. 

Where else can I find information about resources available to students?
We are updating Trollweb regularly, so please continue to access Trollweb as you have in the past for links to student resources.  We have a Student Guide to Online Learning and Social Distancing available as a quick resource.   COVID-19 updates will continue to be offered on Trinity’s COVID-19 webpage.

Will there be housing/meal plan refunds?
Trinity is working diligently to provide a pro-rated meal plan and housing refund and/or credit for those students who had housing or meal plans this semester. We are working as quickly as possible to assess each individual student’s financial aid situation, as well as follow guidance from the US Department of Education. We will communicate with students as soon as we have more definitive information.   

What about on campus work?
In-person, on-campus student employment has been suspended. We encourage student workers to reach out to their supervisors if they have particular questions.  

Can I come onto Trinity’s campus?
At this time, access to Trinity’s physical campus in Palos Heights is currently limited due to Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, announced March 20, 2020. Most buildings are locked and inaccessible to students.  Students, please contact Campus Safety and Security at the number found on your student ID card should you need to access campus for any reason.  

What about my campus mail?
The Mail and Print Center is open, though with limited operations.  Mail continues to be received on campus. If you would like your mail or packages to be forwarded to another address, please contact them via email at mailcenter@trnty.edu.  

What about rental books?
Rental books that would have been due on May 1 are now due on September 3, 2020.  Take the books home with you – you will need them to complete your classes!  Please contact the Bookstore with any further questions related to books (and check out the offerings – and deals – on the on-line store as well!).    

What if I have academic program related questions?
All faculty and department chairs will be in touch with students regularly starting Monday, March 23 (if not before!).  You may also email your professors directly. 

What about Trolls athletics?
The NAIA, NCCAA, and Trinity have suspended all athletic contests for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Please check the Trolls Athletics website, which will be updated as we receive information from the NAIA and NCCAA.    

What about May 2020 Commencement?
In light of the public health pandemic, as well as guidance from the State of Illinois and the CDC, Trinity has made the unfortunate and difficult decision to postpone the May 2, 2020, Commencement ceremony. However, we are committed, at some point, to providing an alternative for our graduating students to celebrate their achievements.  With the ever-changing nature of this situation, at this time we cannot announce when, where, or how such a commencement celebration will happen. We know that this is very important to our students, their families, and our entire community. We intend to honor our graduating students this spring throughout the season of online learning and we intend to hold an in-person ceremony for them in the future when it is safe to do so. More information will be forthcoming to students and Trinity’s website will be updated as more information is known and decisions regarding commencement are made. 

What about the 2020-21 Housing Process for Returning Students?
The 2020-2021 Housing Selection Process for Returning Students will be completely online.  Students can begin accessing the “housing intent” form via their student portal (under the “My Housing” section) starting Friday, March 27.

Submission Deadlines 
For students/groups requesting to live in the Tibstra 5-person apartments or Alumni Hall 6-person suites: Thursday, April 2 at 5pm*
For all other students/groups, the priority deadline for submission is Monday, April 20 at 12pm.
Those who submit housing preference forms for the Tibstra Apartments or Alumni Hall 6-person suites will receive placement confirmation by Monday, April 6. 

Specific Suite Placements 
After the priority deadlines have passed, Residence Life staff will assign groups to specific suites based on availability, preference, and community considerations.  There will not be a room draw this year; however, students are invited to include any specific assignment requests in their housing preference form for the Residence Life staff to review. Students will be notified of their housing placements by Monday, April 27. 

+ FACULTY & STAFF INFO

Updates on particular items and policy changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Official College Travel (Primarily for Faculty and Staff)

We have suspended all College-sponsored domestic and international air travel effective today and until further notice.  Anyone seeking exceptions to this policy must submit them, in writing, to the President’s Office (president@trnty.edu).  Waivers will be rare at best, and granted only for especially compelling circumstances.  Non-essential college travel by other means (e.g., passenger vehicle, bus, train) also is strongly discouraged.

Personal Travel

We urge all members of the Trinity community to carefully consider their intended destinations for personal trips and check on any restrictions or quarantine measures that may be recommended or required by the CDC upon arrival or return.  Obviously, we want our students to get home as expeditiously as is possible.  Personal international travel for U.S.-based persons is strongly discouraged.

[From President Kurt Dykstra]: Leah and I have taken this advice to heart.  We had planned trips over the next two months to, among other places, Michigan, Iowa, South Dakota, Central Indiana, Florida, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.  As of yesterday, we are going on none of them.

For faculty and staff, what if you must travel?  The CDC has recommended that places like Trinity keep a record of such travel (especially international) in the event that the future spread of the virus necessitates increased precautionary measures.  We would ask that you let our Human Resources office (human.resources@trnty.edu) know if you will be traveling (1) internationally, (2) domestically by flight or common carrier (e.g., train or bus, other than CTA, Metra, or other public transit services); or (3) outside of the Tri-State area (Chicagoland, Southeastern Wisconsin, and Northwest Indiana).  I recognize that item (3), in particular, is not described with exactitude.  I ask that you use common sense and prudence in registering such travel with Human Resources.  Please also know that the College will keep reported information confidential and solely for this purpose – and will dispose of that information as quickly as the public health conditions warrant.

Events at Trinity

Trinity has cancelled all events scheduled to occur on campus through the month of April.  That date could be extended, depending upon future conditions.  This cancellation includes Trinity events (e.g., theater performances and athletic contests) as well as outside organizations (e.g., the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and the Southwest Symphony Orchestra).  This cancellation also extends to official Trinity group gatherings or meetings that occur off campus (e.g., the 60th Anniversary Alumni gatherings and the Concert Choir tour).  Please adhere to the spirit of this policy as well as the letter of it:  do not evade this policy by moving something off campus that under normal circumstances would have occurred on campus.  Please contact your divisional vice president with questions or particular issues related to this policy change.

Visitation Policy

While most students have departed campus and will need to do so by Wednesday, March 18 at 5 p.m., we will have a small group of students who, for exceptional reasons, have been permitted to remain in Trinity housing.  In order to better protect the health and welfare of these remaining students, as of Wednesday, March 18, visitors will no longer be allowed in any Trinity Residence Hall, including any such facility used to house students who remain on campus.  Of course, our remaining students living in residence will be free to come and go as they please (exercising appropriate precautions), but no visitors will be permitted in the residence halls themselves.  We understand that this might be an inconvenience; the nature of this public health pandemic, however, compels us to implement such a policy for the foreseeable future.

Student Worker Policy

We have undertaken these extraordinary campus actions in order to best ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our students and the campus community.  That is also why we are insistent and adamant that as many students return home as possible.  For these reasons, and consistent with these actions, departments are not allowed to utilize student workers without approval from their divisional vice president.  To obtain such an approval, which will not be readily granted, please contact the appropriate vice president in writing and explain the exceptional circumstances that you believe warrant an exception.

Chicago Semester

Trinity’s Chicago Semester program has suspended its residential operations and is transitioning to online learning, similar in nature to what is taking place on Trinity’s Palos Heights campus.  The Chicago Semester staff is in full communication with the affected students to facilitate this transition.

Online Collaboration Resource for Faculty

The IT department has put together an online collaboration resource guide for faculty to use to help with technology.

+ EVENTS AND SALT INFO

What is the status of events on campus?
All events are cancelled through April 30. We have not yet made a decision to alter or cancel events on campus past April 30th. Right now our plan to stand in hope that this situation will be contained or eradicated in the coming weeks by the grace of God.

What is the status of SALT classes?
The flourishing of our campus community and its health and safety are of utmost importance to us at Trinity. With that priority in mind, we believe that it is in the best interest of our community and our neighbors to cancel all SALT [Seasoned Adults Learning at Trinity] offerings through April 30.

This decision follows Trinity’s steps to suspend in-person, on-campus classes for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester for all students.

We continue to monitor this evolving situation, and information about May courses will be released as soon as decisions are made. We do not yet have details about rescheduling courses or reimbursements for classes and membership fees, but we will be in touch as more information is available.